Mission Statement: Guard the Grand is an educational program with the goal of fostering an ethic of environmental stewardship in Oklahomans residing in watersheds that flow into Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.

Water is a precious resource that we need to protect for ourselves and future generations. GRDA, with the assistance of an Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Education grant and partnership with the Oklahoma Water Survey, developed the Guard the Grand program to improve Grand Lake’s water quality through science education and outreach. We are taking a multifaceted approach by providing workshops that target educators, residents, and businesses within the Grand Lake Watershed, providing them with the information and resources to make changes around their homes, businesses, and communities to improve the quality of our streams and lakes. Join Our Email List Download the Guard the Grand app to help stay up to date on events and other lake related information. Available for both iPhone and android.

Septic System Repair/Replace Program Information

This new program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. The program is designed to help improve water quality in the Grand Lake and Lake Hudson watersheds. To be eligible for the program your septic system must be within ODEQ defined Zone 2 of either Grand Lake, Lake Hudson or one of the smaller streams that feed the lakes. For a map of the coverage area click here.  Additionally, your system must be on GRDA-owned land or not properly functioning and may be discharging raw sewage to a stream or lake. Routine pumping or maintenance is not a qualifying issue for repair; however, if pumping is required to repair a problem, it could be allowable.

For more information please contact Jeri Fleming at jeri.fleming@grda.com or call her at 405-334-6343.

The following information is required to determine eligibility for the Grand River Dam Authority’s septic tank repair/replacement reimbursement program. To be eligible for the program:
1. Your septic system must be within ODEQ defined Zone 2 of either Grand Lake, Lake Hudson or one of the smaller streams that feed the lakes (see attached map).
2. The septic is located at your permanent, full-time residence. (Vacation homes and income-producing property are not eligible for the program.)
3. Your septic has been confirmed by a licensed septic professional or ODEQ or GRDA staff as failing or otherwise in need of repair/replacement.
4. Your combined household income is less than $200,000 per year. (proof of income may be required)

If determined eligible for the program you could receive a maximum of $15,000 in grant funds.
To determine eligibility and to receive an application, here please fill out this pre-application form.



Educator Workshops: Riverology 101 is back! Join the Oklahoma Blue Thumb Program, OSU Cooperative Extension Services, Ag in the Classroom and GRDA for a three-day workshop for teachers. Each participant will receive a 7-day lesson plan specific to Grand Lake, but easily adaptable to your region and other hands-on tools to teak back to your classroom. Teachers within the Grand Lake watershed are eligible to apply for a grant for their school to purchase either equipment or host a community water-themed event. To register click here.

Residential Workshops: Join us for one of three Landscaping for Water Quality workshops. The first 25 people who register at each location (Grove, Langley or Miami) will receive a rain barrel and a coupon for a free soil test from OSU Cooperative Extension Services. To register for the workshops, visit our Eventbrite page here.

Residential Workshop Topics

Understanding Your Watershed: Did you know the Grand Lake Watershed is spread across four states? Grand Lake receives storm water runoff from nearly 660,000 acres of land. Come learn about the importance of understanding the watershed you live in, how land use influences water quality, and what you can do to help improve the health of our watershed.

Landscaping For Water Quality and Conservation: Learn about practices you can implement around your property to reduce storm-water runoff, prevent soil erosion, and conserve water for your lawn and garden. The first 25 attendees will walk away with a FREE 60-gallon rain barrel and a soil testing kit!

Septic System Management: Did you know that septic systems rely on bacteria to break down waste? Come learn about how septic systems work, how to properly care for the bacteria in your septic system, what happens when septic systems fail, and who to contact to help you with your septic tank issues. The first 25 attendees will walk away with a FREE Septic Treatment Kit!

Boat and Dock Maintenance: Properly maintaining your dock and/or boat is one way to help protect Grand Lake. Join us to learn what cleaners are safe, Grand Lake dock regulations and what to do if gas or oil are spilled in or near water.

Business Workshops: Guard the Grand isn’t just for educators and residents. Local businesses are an important component of both economic and environmental health in a watershed. We have developed workshops to provide education, guidance and incentives for implementing best management practices for a variety of business types. Businesses that participate in the workshops and implement a best management practice can become a Guardian of the Grand. Each Guardian of the Grand business will receive decals and signs and will be listed on our website. Click here to view the Resources.

Business Workshop Topics

Landscaping and Lawn Care: Geared towards lawn care professionals and landscapers, this workshop will discuss soil health, fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide use near the lake and the use and benefits of rain gardens and rain barrels.

Developers and Construction Contractors:The OKR-10 and OKR-140000 permits require construction companies that disturb one or more acres of land to have a permit to discharge stormwater off their construction site. This workshop will discuss both permits and erosion and sediment control best management practices.

Septic System Installers and Maintenance Providers:This workshop will discuss rules and best management practices on installation and maintenance of septic systems.

Marinas and Boat Repair Shops: Painting, staining, gas pumps and paint stripping can affect water quality. This workshop will discuss how marinas and boat repair shops can help reduce oil, greases and other chemicals from inadvertently contaminating the water bodies they are on.

Thank you to all the businesses that help us Guard the Grand! Each of the listed businesses has either installed a best management practice, hosted a workshop, shared our information or a combination of several things. It takes all of us to protect the water quality in Grand Lake. For more information on how you can become a Guardian of the Grand, email us at guardthegrand@grda.com.

Candlewyck Cove Resort

Crown Point Marina

Delaware County OSU Extension Services

Grand Lake Association

Grand Lake RV Resort

Grand Services Outdoor Maintenance


Monkey Island Pedestrian Trails

Ottawa County OSU Extension Services

Safe Harbor Harbors View marina

Scissortail Marina

South Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce

Town of Disney

Community Events/Presentations: The Grand Lake Watershed is very large, extending into Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, so we want to reach as many people as possible to help improve the water quality of our beautiful lake. Let us know if you would like for us to host a booth or give a presentation on ways to improve water quality from storm water runoff and other environmental contaminants at an event in your community! Please check our calendar for upcoming events.


Working with students from the Oklahoma Water Survey at the University of Oklahoma, we have developed a series of pamphlets to provide information on a variety of topics to help area residents and businesses better understand how to protect their watershed.

“This webpage was developed under Assistance Agreement No. NE-01F627-01 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of Grand River Dam Authority and EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned on this webpage.”